Every year there is a spike in media attention surrounding the issue of human trafficking as the NFL Football season winds down and Super Bowl Sunday approaches. Much of this media attention touches upon the rise of human trafficking – particularly sex trafficking – in relation to the Super Bowl and how this enormous sporting event temporarily inflates the sex industry. And while such statements and coverage hold merit, there is also a “Catch 22” to such awareness.
What I have noticed this year regarding the Super Bowl and the human trafficking industry is the call to increased awareness throughout the calendar year – not solely around this sporting event. The Huffington Post released an article today that stated:
Although there is a market for commercial sex around the time of the Super Bowl, this market demand exists 365 days a year. It could be there at any event where masses of people descend upon a specific city or region, and it is also there on any average day when no big sporting events are taking place…So, this isn’t just a Super Bowl problem. It’s a national problem.
I think that the last two sentences are especially critical when addressing human trafficking. We simply cannot pick and choose when or how we are going to combat this industry. We should not hold educational seminars, raise finances for anti-trafficking organizations and sign petitions simply when it is convenient for ourselves because sporadically fighting trafficking does nothing in reducing demand.
Human trafficking cannot be a fad that lasts for a few years with well-meaning individuals and organizations jumping aboard the bandwagon until a new, more fascinating issue comes along. We merely trivialize trafficking if we continue to embrace such a finicky approach while wasting valuable resources that could actually be put towards combating it. So please join me and thousands of other individuals and organizations nationwide in bringing awareness to the trafficking industry on a daily basis, not merely on Super Bowl Sunday!